Guillain-Barré syndrome: causes, immunopathogenic mechanisms and treatment

Anil K. Jasti, Carlo F Selmi, Juan C. Sarmiento-Monroy, Daniel A. Vega, Juan Manuel Anaya, M. Eric Gershwin

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

24 Scopus citations

Abstract

Introduction: Guillain-Barré syndrome is a rare disease representing the most frequent cause of acute flaccid symmetrical weakness of the limbs and areflexia usually reaching its peak within a month. The etiology and pathogenesis remain largely enigmatic and the syndrome results in death or severe disability in 9–17% of cases despite immunotherapy. Areas covered: In terms of etiology, Guillain-Barré syndrome is linked to Campylobacter infection but less than 0.1% of infections result in the syndrome. In terms of pathogenesis, activated macrophages and T cells and serum antibodies against gangliosides are observed but their significance is unclear. Expert commentary: Guillain-Barré syndrome is a heterogeneous condition with numerous subtypes and recent data point towards the role of ganglioside epitopes by immunohistochemical methods. Ultimately, the syndrome results from a permissive genetic background on which environmental factors, including infections, vaccination and the influence of aging, lead to disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1175-1189
Number of pages15
JournalExpert Review of Clinical Immunology
Volume12
Issue number11
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 1 2016

Keywords

  • autoimmune neuropathy
  • Guillain-Barré
  • immune tolerance
  • infection and immunity
  • Molecular mimicry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology

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